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An Update to Patreon’s Policies on COVID-19-Related Medical Misinformation

Since the beginning of 2020 the world has been united in the struggle to contain and defeat the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months, as governments around the world have begun approving vaccines and other medicines to combat the spread and severity of COVID-19, we have also observed an increase in online activity promoting medical-misinformation. We have been inspired by the actions that first-responders and health officials have taken all over the world in order to save peoples’ lives, and want to ensure that Patreon is not supporting efforts to miseducate patrons or the public at-large on COVID-19 prevention, mitigation, and treatment.

Starting today, Patreon is updating its community guidelines to address content spreading misinformation on COVID-19.

Patreon will not allow creators that repeatedly use unfounded or debunked theories to argue against broadly supported public health measures on COVID-19. Examples of this include repeated posts that advocate drinking bleach or using UV lights inside of your body as an effective alternative to a vaccine. As always, we will work with creators directly to bring their content back within our guidelines.

In the weeks ahead, Patreon will introduce fact-checking resources for posts discussing COVID-19 designed to help creators and patrons access trusted information. In addition, our teams will add post-level moderation tools to address each situation with the nuanced response it deserves.

To be clear, this policy update will not impact creators making content that debates the merits of, or expresses skepticism around, public health recommendations. We will always encourage the broadest dialogue possible amongst creators and their patrons. Our Trust and Safety team will work directly with creators to ensure that their content does not contain unfounded or debunked assertions on COVID-19 that would dissuade the public from taking preventative or responsive public health measures (like a vaccine). If you’re a creator who is unsure of whether or not your activity on Patreon is within our community guidelines, please feel free to send an email to us at [email protected].

While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented disruption to lives across the globe, we’re hopeful that we may be turning a corner in this crisis. As global health officials and emergency responders work to contain and end the epidemic, we’re optimistic about the opportunities in store for creators in 2021 and beyond. We look forward to continuing our work to keep them safe and secure in a post-covid world.

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